Unemployment near three-year low

 

Unemployment near three-year low
Mức thất nghiệp gần đến mức thấp nhất trong vòng 3 năm vừa qua

  • Fri, Jan 6 2012

A construction worker works on the framework for a single family home currently under construction in Los Angeles, California October 18, 2011. REUTERS-Fred Prouser

 

A construction worker carries materials on the job building a shopping center complex in Solana Beach, California January 6, 2012. Employment growth accelerated last month and the jobless rate dropped to a near three-year low of 8.5 percent, offering the strongest evidence yet the economic recovery was gaining steam.     REUTERS-Mike Blake

A construction worker (công nhân xây dựng) works on the framework (sườn nhà) for
a single family home (hộ một gia đình) currently under construction in Los Angeles, California October 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON | Sat Jan 7, 2012 7:59am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment growth accelerated last month and the jobless rate (tỉ lệ thất nghiệp) dropped to a near three-year low of 8.5 percent, the strongest evidence yet (cho đến này là bằng chứng rõ rệt nhất)  the economic recovery (sự phục hồi kinh tế ) is gaining steam (lấy được đà tăng trưởng).

Nonfarm (không thuộc lĩnh vực trang trại) payrolls increased 200,000 in December, the Labor Department said on Friday. It was the biggest rise in three months and beat (vượt trên) economists’ expectations for a 150,000 gain.

The unemployment rate fell from a revised 8.7 percent in November to its lowest level since February 2009, a heartening (đáng phấn khởi) sign for President Barack Obama whose re-election hopes could hinge (tùy thuộc, làm chỗ dựa) on the state of the labor market.

“The labor market is healing (đang hồi phục, đang tốt lên), but we still have a long way to go to recoup (lấy lại, regain, make up for, compensate) the losses we have endured (phải chịu). We may be close to a tipping point (điểm bùng phát) where gains can become more self-feeding (tự nảy nở, tự quay lại để làm ra phát triên kế tiếp),” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

A string of better-than-expected (tốt hơn dự đoán) U.S. data in recent weeks has highlighted  (làm nổi bật,  lộ rõ) a contrast between the recovery in the world’s biggest economy and Europe, where the economy is widely believed (được nhiều người cho rằng) to be contracting (đang co rút, shrink, suy giảm).

The jobs data (dữ liệu về việc làm) was overshadowed (bị làm cho u ám) in financial markets by concerns over (sự lo lắng) Europe’s debt crisis (khủng hoảng  nợ Châu Âu). U.S. stocks ended mostly down (lúc nào cũng kết thúc ảm đạm), while Treasury debt (nợ trái phiếu) prices rose on safe-haven bids.

The dollar rose to a near 16-month high (gần đỉnh cao nhất trong 16 tháng gần đây) against the euro.

Republican presidential hopefuls have blasted (công kích) Obama’s economic policies as doing more harm than good.

The latest economic signs, however, could offer him (mang lại cho ông ta) some political protection.

The economy added 1.6 million jobs last year, the most since 2006, and the jobless rate, which peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, has dropped 0.6 percentage point in the last four months.

Obama welcomed the news and urged Congress to extend a two-month payroll tax cut through 2012 to help sustain the recovery (duy trì, giữ vững đà phục hồi) .

“We’re moving in the right direction. When Congress returns they should extend the middle-class tax cut for all of this year, to make sure we keep this recovery going (keep smth going,  keep it moving, progressing),” he said.

 

LONG ROAD BACK

Employment remains about 6.1 million below its pre-recession (trước thời gian xảy ra suy thoái ) level and at December’s pace of job growth (tăng trưởng việc làm), it would take about 2-1/2 years to win those jobs back. There are roughly 4.3 unemployed people for every job opening (cơ hội công việc, cơ hội việc làm).

Unseasonably mild weather last month helped fuel (thúc đẩy) a hefty (lực lưỡng, mạnh mẽ) gain in construction employment. Courier jobs (công việc giao hàng qua bưu điện) also rose sharply, a move the Labor Department pinned on (quy cho, credit with) strong online shopping  (mua bán qua mạng) for the holiday season.

Those jobs could be lost in January and the unemployment rate might rise as Americans who had abandoned the hunt for work (săn tìm việc) are lured back (bị lôi kéo về, cám dỗ) into the labor market.

The drop in the jobless rate was mostly due to (chủ yếu do) strong hiring (thuê mướn người). The labor force shrank only modestly (ít, khiêm tốn).

A broad measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have stopped looking and those working only part time but who want more work, dropped to an almost three-year low of 15.2 percent from 15.6 percent in November.

Still, all told (tính chung, tính hết thì có), 23.7 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed.

With the labor market still far from healthy (vẫn còn xa mới được coi là lành mạnh), the debt crisis in Europe unresolved (chưa giải quyết xong) and tensions over Iran threatening to drive up (đẩy.. lên) oil prices, the U.S. economy faces stiff headwinds (còn nhiều phong ba bão táp).

FED STILL IN PLAY

Economists predict the recovery will lose a step early this year after expanding in the fourth quarter at what is expected to be the fastest pace in 1-1/2 years.

While the prospect of a further easing of monetary policy was damped a bit by the jobs data, the shaky outlook means a third round of asset purchases by the Federal Reserve remains an option.

“The Fed will be watching for further credible evidence that this improving trend is gaining traction,” said Anthony Karydakis, chief economist at Commerzbank in New York.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley on Friday suggested the U.S. central bank was still leaning toward buying more bonds to pull borrowing costs lower, describing the recovery as “frustratingly slow” and the unemployment rate as “unacceptably high.”

“I believe it is also appropriate to continue to evaluate whether we could provide additional (policy) accommodation,” said Dudley.

 

GOVERNMENT A DRAG

All the job gains (tăng thêm việc làm) in December came from the private sector (lĩnh vực tư nhân), where payrolls rose 212,000 – the most in three months.

Government employment contracted (thu lại, giảm xuống còn) 12,000, with most of the drag coming from local government layoffs (giảm biên). However, the pace of government job losses is moderating as some states report revenue growth (tăng trưởng số thu) after years of being in the red (bị lỗ).

For all of 2011, the private sector added 1.9 million jobs, while government employment fell 280,000. A measure of the share of industries that showed job gains during the month rebounded to a five-month high in December after diving in November.

Construction payrolls increased 17,000 after falling 12,000 in November as mild weather has boosted groundbreaking for new homes.

Transportation and warehousing employment jumped 50,200. The bulk of the rise came from the messenger industry, which added 42,000 jobs, reflecting an increase in deliveries of online purchases made during the holiday season.

Manufacturing jobs rose 23,000, the largest increase since July. Factory employment rose 225,000 last year, sustaining gains for the first time since 1997.

But there were soft spots in retail, where payrolls growth slowed to 27,900 after hefty gains in November as retailers geared up for a busy holiday shopping season.

Temporary hiring, seen as a harbinger of future hiring, fell for the first time June, dropping 7,500 in December after gaining 11,200.

Hourly earnings rose a modest four cents, indicating that most of the jobs being created are low paying.

This is a potentially troubling sign for consumer spending, which has been largely supported by a reduction in savings, although it also signals a lack of inflation pressure.

“Firms need to grow wages faster if consumption is to accelerate. There is not a lot of appetite to give raises,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

(Additional reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

 

|  G . L . O . S . S  |

recoup: lấy lại, BÙ LẠI// regain, make up for, compensate, offset, counterbalance

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